Presidency to Atiku: No N5.4trn fuel subsidy provision in 2024

Presidency to Atiku: No N5.4trn fuel subsidy provision in 2024

Presidency to Atiku: No N5.4trn fuel subsidy provision in 2024

The Presidency yesterday debunked claims that it was making provisions to pay the sum of N5.4trillion for fuel subsidy in 2024.

Recall that the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2023 elections, Abubakar Atiku, had on Wednesday, challenged President Tinubu to stop deceiving Nigerians about his administration’s true position on petrol subsidy.

He had said contrary to Tinubu’s public posturing about petrol subsidy removal, the administration had been secretly paying trillions of naira for petrol subsidy as, according to him, subsidy payment under Tinubu’s watch is likely to hit N5.4 trillion this year.

Again yesterday, Atiku accused Tinubu’s administration of diverting public funds through secret payment of fuel subsidy.

But Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, reiterated in a statement yesterday that the era of fuel subsidy had ended.

“The government wants to restate that its position on fuel subsidy has not changed from what President Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared on May 29, 2023.

”The fuel subsidy regime has ended. There is no N5.4 trillion being provisioned for it in 2024, as being widely speculated and discussed,” he said.

The presidential spokesman restated the declaration by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, saying “as previously stated by government officials, including myself, President Tinubu announced the end of the fuel subsidy program last year, and this policy remains firmly in place”.

Onanuga said the federal government was committed to mitigating the effects of the removal and easing the cost of living pressures on Nigerians.

“Our strategy focuses on addressing key factors such as food inflation, which is significantly impacted by transport costs. With the implementation of our CNG initiative, which aims to displace high PMS and AGO costs, we expect to further reduce these costs.

“Our commitment to ending unproductive subsidies is steadfast, as is our dedication to supporting our most vulnerable populations,” Onanuga said.

Tinubu’s diverting public funds using secret payments —Atiku

Meanwhile, Atiku, again, yesterday accused the President Bola Tinubu- led administration of diverting public funds through the secret payment of fuel subsidy.

Atiku said the secrecy surrounding the subsidy payment and the administration’s refusal to make public how much was being spent on the venture left much to be desired.

The former vice president, who said this in a statement in Abuja, was reacting to the Presidency’s statement.

Atiku explained that the clandestine subsidy regime was one of the reasons investments in the oil sector had refused to come in.

He said: “Tinubu has brought the shady nature of running Lagos to the federal level. He claims subsidy is gone but his Special Adviser on Energy, Olu Verheijen, says they are intervening from time to time, while his Finance Minister, Wale Edun, described subsidy removal as an ‘ongoing process’.

“A document authored by the coordinating minister of the economy revealing how much subsidy is being paid, is now being disowned by the very authors of the document.

“Both the World Bank and the IMF have revealed in separate reports that Nigeria is still paying petrol subsidies, but the Tinubu government refuses to come clean. Even a senior member of the APC had revealed that subsidy was being paid.

“For a man who claims to be on a mission to attract foreign direct investment, it is ironic that he cannot see that his policy flip flops and lies are capable of dissuading investors. He must come clean on this subsidy issue since he doubles as petroleum minister.”

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